Keep Your Wood (Utensils) Healthy!

I was browsing Pinterest (because it was a day ending in 'y') and came across an article about caring for wooden utensils over at Bon Appetit Hon aptly titled, Wood Butter (a wonderful name).  I am now having a love affair with this silky, buttery, delicious smelling salve and I believe my wooden utensils are grateful I came to my senses.

I was so excited to get going on this project that I forgot to take 'before' pictures, but I assure you, my wooden spoons, bowls, and cutting boards were a sorry sight. Several of them are easily forgotten since they spend most of their time in storage with the rest of my medieval dining ware.

Check out the full article over at Bon Appetit Hon for more details on how to make this Wood Butter, but here is a quick run-down with my goofs and observations. 

You only need 2 ingredients and a few other materials:

  • 4 oz.  Beeswax - I had a lot of beeswax pellets left over from a different project that I bought on Amazon. If you only have block beeswax, cut it up into some smaller chunks to help the melting process.
  • 16 oz.Food Safe Mineral Oil - You can find this in your pharmacy with the laxatives.
  • Large shallow pot for boiling water
  • Heat safe glass container (like a Ball canning jar or Pyrex measuring cup)
  • Stirring utensil - I used a bamboo grilling skewer
  • Container to store the finished product
  • Cloth to apply/buff your wooden utensils

Bring a pot with a few inches of water to a boil.  Put the beeswax in a heat safe glass jar (the original article used a Ball canning jar).  Since I didn't have a canning jar, I used a Pyrex measuring cup and had no trouble (also convenient for pouring). I used a low boil so the wax and the glass wouldn't get too hot and either catch fire or explode, so remember - safety first! Stir the beeswax until it is melted.  

Close your eyes and pretend this pot has actual boiling water and the glass actual beeswax instead of remnants. Well, maybe don't close your eyes...

Warm the mineral oil before adding it to the melted beeswax.  I heated mine up in the microwave, but not long enough, because when I poured it into the wax, it was cool enough to solidify the wax before I could stir them together. :-( 

I thought my experiment was doomed, but I took a leap of faith and put the Pyrex measuring cup back in the boiling water, complete with the blobby, waxy, oily mess I had created.  After a whole lot more stirring, the two heated up enough to emulsify. Hooray!

I poured the whole thing into a glass storage jar I had lying around and let it cool.

Wipe it onto any wood utensils or dishes that need a pick me up! I used a paper towel to apply and waited about 24 hours. Then I used a clean cloth to buff any excess off.    

The happy ending for my neglected wooden bowls and cutting boards.

Maybe I am itching for spring, but this project has gotten me looking for what other abandoned items I can find in my collection to revive!